Teaching Art of the Middle East and Islamic World

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On November 4 and 5, 2017, educators, artists and curators met in San Francisco to discuss new approaches to teaching the art of the Middle East and Islamic World. This teaching conference was co-sponsored by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and San Francisco State University with outreach from the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, and important support from the Spencer Foundation. Our basic project was to bring new critical approaches to teaching art of the Middle East and Islamic world, recognizing that the history of this discipline has long been impacted by a deeply embedded colonial mindset, and acknowledging that this art history is now set against an urgent contemporary moment of violence and bigotry. We hoped to brainstorm both specific and more general recommendations about how art history education can help bridge understanding, and refresh and renew teaching this topic. The conference was deeply collaborative and its participants included teachers from K12, higher education, museum curators and educators, artists, and scholar/specialists. The first day at the de Young Museum introduced topics of historical architecture, contemporary art and fashion with presentations, discussions and Q&A. The second day at San Francisco State University hosted further discussions focused on making recommendations. The video includes highlights from both days. The report (in PDF form) provides a glimpse of some of the presentations and discussions from both the first day of the conference, summarized in an essay by Dr. Kathy Zarur, and with notes that document recommendations from the second.

Geographic Coverage
Middle East, Islamic World
San Francisco State University School of Art

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